Gmail users can now transfer money via email with a new feature from Google.
With a simple click of a button and using Google Wallet, Gmailers in the UK can now transfer cash to anyone- even if the recipient doesn’t use Gmail.
Rolling out over the next few weeks, users can also use the feature to request money using the small £ sign that will appear at the bottom of a draft email near the attachment button.
The service is free if transferring from a bank account, – using a credit card incurs a small fee.
The "send money" feature is a simple and secure way to transfer money to friends and family, said Google Wallet product manager Travis Green in a blog post, and it could be useful for businesses to facilitate e-commerce transactions.
The biggest winner here is likely to be Google as it pushes users to sign up to its Google Wallet product, which also lets users shop instore with a swipe of their mobile (like contactless card payment) and make purchases online in the same way as PayPal.
Through Gmail, it places Google Wallet in front of a potential 500m Gmail users. That compares to the biggest online payment processor PayPal, with 161m active registered accounts.
The feature first launched last year in the US with plans for a global roll-out, but the launch is especially timely with the imminent wider launch of Apple Pay on the horizon. The tech giant already has around 800m registered iTunes accounts and the majority of which are connected to credit card information.
Email payment is just one of the ways tech companies are jumping on the money transfer bandwagon. Snapchat introduced Snapcash for making payments between users and Twitter partnered with French bank BPCE for money transfers over the social network.
Watch how how it all works.